Yesterday, I found out that Jonathan Crombie, the actor that played Gilbert Blythe in the fantastic TV movie adaptations of Anne of Green Gables, passed away far too early at the age of 48. He was a beautiful man and actor. The news nearly threw me into "the depths of despair." Gilbert is my absolute favourite romantic character from my absolute favourite series of books by L.M. Montgomery. Gilbert is sweet, funny, smart, and so patient in his love for Anne. Swoon. I am forcing Mr. K to watch Anne with me while I reflect on how much these characters have influenced my life choices and ignore the mess in my kitchen.
Top 5 things that Anne has taught me.
1. Anne taught me to be myself. No one is perfect, but staying true to your hopes, dreams, and personality will make your life interesting and rich. I don't recall one instance when Anne changed to please others.
2. To overcome adversity. A little imagination goes a long way. Anne had a difficult start in life but did not let it dampen her spirits or weigh her down. She actually became stronger through each difficulty.
3. The maritimes (the East coast of Canada) is the best place in the world. When I was 20 years old, and had been married for only a year, my love and I drove across the country (57 hours) with not much in our bank account and no jobs lined up. Living in the maritimes for 8 years absolutely shaped me as a person. The kindest people live there. I learned how to live in New Brunswick.
4. Take risks. Follow your heart. Live in new places, try new things, and collect friends wherever you go. Kindred spirits are everywhere.
5. There is no substitute for your first love. If your first love is also your best friend, you are among the luckiest people in the world. Anne took much longer to realize this than I did, and I didn't need my love to be near death to discover my feelings. Anne does have a flair for the dramatic. That's why we love her! Oh Gilbert... sigh.
Well loved books. Old friends.